Why Social Media Matters for Job Seekers
Whether you love it, hate it, or simply don’t care one way or another, social media isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Further, it’s bleeding into every aspect of our lives, from forging friendships to driving the political landscape. If you think the job hunt has been immune to the effects of social media, think again.
Social media is of vital importance to job seekers, especially now. So let’s take a look at four reasons why social media matters when you’re seeking employment.
LinkedIn is a powerful tool.
We’re going to start out on a positive note. While most people think of Facebook or Twitter or Instagram when you mention social media, LinkedIn is a social network as well, and it’s become a key tool for employers who are looking for fresh talent.
According to LinkedIn’s own data, three people are hired via LinkedIn every minute. That’s 180 per hour, and 4,320 per day. Yes, literally thousands of people are hired through this social network every day.
If you’re looking for work and you still don’t have a LinkedIn profile, you should go create one immediately. And no, we won’t feel bad if you don’t finish reading this article first. Go create that profile and come back here. We’ll still be here once your LinkedIn account is set up. We promise.
Networking is essential.
A survey conducted in 2015 and 2016 revealed that 85% of jobs are filled via networking. Those statistics are almost overwhelming – you simply need to be networking if you’re serious about finding work. Social media lets you do this from the comfort of your own home. While we definitely don’t want to discourage you from attending industry events (always attend these when possible), the internet provides opportunities for fast, easy networking.
How can you use social media as a networking platform? We could go on about this for hours, but we’ll give you the Cliffs Notes version: Get involved in groups that are related to your career field. If you’re breaking into the field of audiology, for example, you should be joining online groups that are dedicated to audiology. While some of those groups will be filled with people who are blowing off steam and sharing humorous content, you might end up getting into a conversation with someone in the audiology field. Perhaps that person can introduce you to someone they know who is looking for a candidate just like you.
As we mentioned earlier, you’ll want to be on LinkedIn as well. But don’t just post your resume and walk away; you should be actively working to connect with people. Try to make connections with people in your field. Leave comments on content that you find useful. Share your own content when appropriate.
There are dozens of ways to network on social media, and we’ve just covered a few of them. Get creative, get busy, and have a little bit of (work-appropriate) fun while you’re at it.
A company’s social media feed can give you insight into their work culture.
If you’re scoping out a potential employment opportunity with a company you’re not familiar with, social media can be a powerful tool to get some insight into a company’s culture. Keep in mind that companies tend to be wittier and more fun on platforms like Twitter than in real life (we imagine it’s far more fun to read Wendy’s Twitter feed than it is to actually work for the company, for example), so we’re not talking about forming an idea of a company culture based on a Tweet. However, it can be useful to see how people engage with the company on any social media platform.
Look at how users respond to a company’s posts, then how the company responds in turn. You might see a lot of people making similar complaints about a company’s products or services being unsatisfactory. Does the company respond in a courteous manner, or do they seem frustrated and grumpy? Do they work to resolve issues affectively, or do they communicate poorly?
If you want to go a bit deeper down this rabbit hole, you might actually start to learn about some of the people who work for a particular company. Are those people also active on social media? Do they ever talk publicly about their employer? If so, you might stumble on some valuable information, for better or worse.
Are we still not deep enough? If a company’s hiring manager has a public social media profile, perhaps they talk about some of their pet peeves about interviews or resumes. Perhaps this person even writes blog posts about those. If you can find information like this, it could allow you to correct potential mistakes before you make them.
You should always research a company before you go into a job interview. Social media gives you an incredibly powerful tool for this research, and it can give you far more insight than you might expect. Use it to your advantage.
Social media is a double-edged sword.
Of course, there are downsides to this social media trend. Your activity on your social networks is now being monitored by the companies who are considering you as a potential hire. We’ve mentioned this before, but it’s imperative that you scrub your social media accounts before you start submitting applications.
First up, let’s talk about the obvious. If you have scandalous photos on your timeline, you’re going to want to get rid of those. If the first thing your employer learns about you is that you’ve been involved in illicit activities and have shared those with the world via Facebook, then you’re probably going to be disqualified from the position. In fact, a survey conducted in 2020 found that 22% of respondents in a hiring position had denied someone employment because of their social media content.
But that’s just the first step. One thing that can be a red flag for an employer is that you’re not very active on social media, or that you don’t have a social media profile at all. If you’re actively seeking employment, you should put at least a little bit of time and effort into posting semi-regularly. This doesn’t have to be anything excruciatingly difficult – we’re not asking you to create massive infographics or anything – but you should at least check in once in a while and let your followers know you’re still active.
It’s okay to have mixed feelings about this, of course. On one hand, your personal social media accounts are for your friends and family members to enjoy. This should be a place where you can loosen your tie and kick up your feet. On the other hand, with such a powerful tool at their disposal, an employer would be a fool to not use it.
By now, it should be pretty clear that social media is important for job seekers. We’re in the digital age, and the hiring process has been digitized. If you want to go where the opportunities are, you’re going to have to be active on social media.
Are you looking for some connections on LinkedIn? Why don’t you start by following Staffing Proxy? We’re active on LinkedIn, where we share helpful articles (like the one you’re reading) and job opportunities. While you can always contact us via traditional means, we’re also on LinkedIn, and we love to connect with job seekers like you.
We’ll see you there!